Loonie's plunge hits families of immigrants who send money home


When Arashia Morris sent filthy lucre to her family in the Caribbean last month she was shocked at how little that sell was worth.

“You’re making the money. It’s just the exchange rate is outrageous,” she blabbed CBC News.

A plunging Canadian dollar isn’t just bad news for cross-border shoppers and day-trippers. It’s also affecting Morris and the many other immigrants and migrant proletarians in Canada supporting family members abroad.

According to the World Bank, gypsy workers in Canada send about $24 billion US to other countries every year, with the manhood of the remittances going to China, India and the Philippines.

Now, with the Canadian dollar globule below 70 cents US, that money isn’t worth nearly as much in other in the mains of the world.

Families in need

Morris moved to Canada when she was 15. Now 36, she’s supporting herself and her two girls in Canada and also helping family members back home in Saint Vincent.

Arashia Morris

Arashia Morris votes her family in Saint Vincent calls on her when they are in ‘desperate dearth.’

“They only call when they desperately need it,” required Morris. “They will call and say can you send some banknotes to help out with bills this month.”

Morris works in Toronto as a cook in a restaurant and doesn’t take note of helping her family abroad when she can, but lately her hard-earned Canadian dollars aren’t effective as far when exchanged to the East Caribbean dollar.

It used to be that $100 Cdn was equal to 300 East Caribbean dollars, a currency pegged to the U.S. dollar.

“But now it’s horrific — $100 Canadian is like $150 ECD, which is nothing,” verbalized Morris. “My brother called last night and asked me to plagiarize him out with a bill. I told him I’m not going to send because it’s going to be a ransack sending it. Even if I send $100 for him now, that’s not even going to y half of the note.”

Lifeline to loved ones

Rosemarie Ami-Seaborn arrived in Canada 15 years ago from the Philippines. A individual mother of a 13-year-old daughter, she now works as a mortgage broker in Toronto and sends rake-off rich home every month to her mother in Manila to help her y for basics have a weakness for food and medical expenses.

“I’m the eldest and I’m the only one in Canada. So of course people in the Philippines, or wherever, when you are in Canada they look at you corresponding to you are a dollar tree,” said Ami-Seaborn.

Rosemarie Ami-Seaborn

Rosemarie Ami-Seaborn is answer for for surgery for her mother in the Philippines. Before Christmas, the bill was expected to be hither $3,500. Now it’s closer to $4,000.

Her mother is expected to have surgery next week to sack a kidney stone, and with no health coverage in the Philippines, Ami-Seaborn is toe-hold the bill. But as the value of the Canadian dollar continues to decrease the cost of the surgery follows rising.

“Before Christmas I was pegging it around $3,500, but now it’s going to be assorted than $4,000. So that’s a big chunk there, because of the exchange class I have to send more,” said Ami-Seaborn.

Exchange proportion rank shocker

Belinda Herrera manages I-Remit in Canada — a money-wiring advantage that caters to Filipinos. The Canadian dollar is at a 12-year low against the Philippine peso, and Herrera requires she feels terrible every time she updates the rates on the currency chart. The peso is not cast work away ated to the U.S. greenback, but still moving higher against the loonie.

“Sometimes I don’t tranquil want to put up that sign anymore, because when [customers] acquire a win in they scream … ‘What!'” said Herrera.

‘We are talking everywhere supporting our family with their basic needs. It has a big im ct on us and we are fair-minded hoping eventually the Canadian dollar will push through.’ –Rosemarie Ami-Seaborn

It’s not solely the low dollar that’s causing in. When you add in the fees to send cold hard cash abroad it cuts even deeper.

Groups like ACORN, which upholder for low-and moderate-income families, have long cam igned against great in extent fees to send money abroad.

“When you make so little and you from to send $100 and they are charging $10 or $12 or $14 or $20 off, and then they penalize you too there when they receive the in money, so it’s not fair,” said Alejandra Ruiz Vargas with ACORN.

The Great Bank tracks remittance prices globally and estimates, for example, that sending $200 from Canada to the Philippines settle upon cost on average an extra $10.40 in fees if transferred through a bank or $8.70 in charges if sent through a money transfer operator.

In October of last year, CIBC augured that it would no longer charge fees to send money from Canada to 34 countries, recommending that new technology and negotiations with transfer agents in other rural areas made it possible for the bank to eliminate fees. The only catch is that you be subjected to to send the money from a CIBC account.

Obliged to help

For Ami-Seaborn, and others like her, no thing what the value of the loonie or how expensive the fees, she still has to send wampum to help her family.

“This is a bigger issue because we are not talking around leisure,” said Ami-Seaborn. “We are talking about tolerating our family with their basic needs. It has a big im ct on us and we are just hoping finally the Canadian dollar will push through.”

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